Through the looking glass
I spent the better part of my week promenading the City of Krowsville*. No, not the pub capital of India (or was it Asia?). Nor the symbol of the nation’s faith in the future. Nay, I was in the Kapital resting my backside in the humble abode (in his own words) of the Mallu Panjabi, to whom I owe my heartfelt gratitude. The most productive aspect of my sojourn was discerning that despite the bravado that he exudes and the numbers that he readily provides about his Punjabi comrades, the fact remains that the MP is all avial, and hardly any sarson ka saag. More so than even he would like to believe himself. But this post is not a chronicle of MP’s Hefner-esque lifestyle, and as envious I may be of him, I divagate to return to Krowsville. Legend has it that once when Akbar posed a conundrum to his courtiers asking about the number of crows in K-ville, the ever-so-astute Birbal promptly retorted, “Your majesty, there are exactly forty two thousand crows in K-ville”. Birbal seems to have missed a zero at the end. Or two.
I strongly believe that, God, weary of six days of arduous labour, decided to give the seventh day a miss, thereby making seven the magically most indolent number. As he was resting, he saw a bunch of aunties roaming around in oversized shades, and conversing in an accent even he couldn’t fathom. Impressed by their demeanor, and mindful of their esotericity, God in his usual benevolence uttered, “Let there be a place teeming with such elite individuals, abounding with beauty and kindness. This place shall be known as Krowsville”, creating what we call today our national capital. This is why Krowsville is so affluent, be it the magniloquence of the people, or the resplendent beauty it provides to the beholder. Wise men proclaim that there are two sides to every bed. Krowsville-ites unfortunately have heard of only one, the wrong-side.
Yet, even the sharpest critic of Krowsville cannot but laud the sheer impeccability of the Krowsville metro and amount of foresight that must have gone into its construction. Madame Diskhit, a self-confessed fan of the inimitable Mallu accent, decided to call a 75-yer old Keralite out of retirement just so that she could sit back and laugh at the accent in press conferences. All was well with the world, till some guy pissed the above-mentioned Mallu off. Deciding to punish every single male on the face of the city, the Mallu engineer created a separate cabin for women in the Metro. The rest as they say is history. Deprived of my primary metro sport and what is probably the national male pastime, of bird-watching, I decided to turn to my secondary avocation. No, not guy watching but the lost art of observation. Observing people always gives me kicks. Paraphrasing Al Pacino, “Big ones, small ones, stupid ones, scratchy ones”; I’m not too sure if god was a fricking genius, but he sure did have a good sense of humour. The Krowsville metro reminds me of Lord of the Rings, and middle earth in general. There is always a venerable dude with a “Fly you fools!” expression on his countenance. A slovenly, shaggy fellow flirting with a fair maiden (Yes, in all probability the only lady in the cabin), a couple of blokes shivering as if they are on their way to Mordor and a short, fat, belligerent man. Of course, the rest of the cabin can be divided into goblins and orcs, who get into a brawl every time the door opens.
In the interest of safety of the few people who do read my blog, here are some general guidelines for the Krowsville Metro.
1) Keep your hands in your pockets all the time. You’ll appear suave and worldly to the few female passengers inhabiting the cabin. More importantly, you won’t get pickpocketed
2) Sit or stand next to someone who is on the phone or is messaging furiously. Eavesdropping is an excellent source of amusement. In fact, I was sitting next to a guy on the phone with some girl and he kept me entertained from Kashmere Gate till Gurgaon. Overheard:
“Yaar, just because he said so, why did you remove me from your friends on facebook? This is just not fare yaar!”
3) Twitch your face to act as if you are in great pain, or constipating. It’s hard to tell the difference but at least people won’t come anywhere near you.
1) Keep your hands in your pockets all the time. People will know you have something valuable in there.
2) Give up your seat to the single ladies who enter the general cabin. It’s like encouraging begging really. The more you give, the more you’ll find.
3) Offer to play with babies or little kids. Before you know it, they’ll have peed all over you. Or worse.
But that’s enough cribbing about Krowsville. In other news, Ricky Pointing is a rich, rich man, my old school cricket coach has invited the West Indian board for an 3-ODI away series, Saina Nehwal has left her lucrative Squash career in order to patent her new discovery – oil which ain’t oily and oh, I seem to have achieved something big. Or at least, so enunciate the myriad congratulatory messages on my wall. For some inexplicable reason, I find the nomenclature “Wall” extremely comic, not that “Scrapbook” betrays any superior intellect. “Writing on Walls” – as Chandler would say “Come on! Surely, that’s got to be funny”. But I digress. Anyone afflicted with facebookerlust stumbling on to the aforementioned wall would mostly assume I am getting married this weekend, glimpsing at the sheer deluge of laudatory posts. Nothing succeeds like success, it seems. Strange are the ways of people. Stranger, the ways of the Social Networking clan. The reclusion has begun.
I am not exactly a bibliophile nor does my done-reading list come anywhere close to that of the few abstruse nerds this place has introduced me to. And yet, there is something about holding the papyrus and savouring words that can bring cheer to even the most despondent of aortic pumps. Combine this with the 20% discount that Midlands offers and you have all the makings of a sweet dream. Thank you Messrs. Rajaraman and Mateen and wishing my (non-existent) readers all the very best for the upcoming test series.
*For the uninitiated, the word krow is also known as “Peter” in some dialects and “Show-off”/”Pretentious Moron” in the queen’s tongue.